Monday, February 9, 2009
Buford Rides Again
Sometimes it's the impromptu trips that are the most memorable. During the summer of 1999, my husband decided we needed to go for a jaunt. He had about three days off in a row that week and he wanted to drive across the Wyoming desert to see Cabela's in Sidney, Nebraska.
"Ah," I said, wondering if I had heard right. Only two of our sons could accompany us on this trip as our oldest son was working for a local grocery store at the time. When I explained this to Kennon, he didn't feel it was a problem.
"The boy has to learn about responsibility," I was told. "He's nearly a man---he'll be a senior this fall, it's time to cut the apron strings."
"But we've always taken family trips together . . . all of us," I replied, still thinking we should plan this trip for a time when our entire family could make the journey.
I was quickly outvoted and told we were leaving in about ten minutes. So despite my misgivings, we prepared to depart.
I made sure our oldest son had plenty of food to partake of (it's a mommy thing) in our absence, then I packed. As I recall, I was the last person to add my small suitcase to what had already been stowed inside the car. My husband's plan was to spend most of one day driving to Sidney, Nebraska. There my husband and two younger sons would enjoy the wonders of this huge sporting goods store. Then we would spend the night at a local hotel, and return home the next day. Since it was a mere 440 miles from our home in Bennington to Sidney, I knew this was going to be the road trip from hades. But it was a chance to get out of the valley and to see the loveliness of the Wyoming desert. ;) So I brought along my trusty camera and a pillow to sit on.
In the past, whenever we had come through this area, it was on our way to other places like Nauvoo, Illinois. I suspect this is why my husband decided we had to journey specifically to see Cabela's. On those other trips, we were limited on the amount of time my husband and boys could spend inside this huge store that caters to outdoorsy types. Now they could savor this store for a good 2-3 hours, while I read a good book I had brought along for this purpose. =D
I did wander about the store for a little bit, stretching my legs after the lengthy trip that day. There are several large aquariums to gaze upon that contain a plethora of different kinds of fishies. And I always enjoy looking for bargains, so I had fun browsing in the clearance section of the store. Then I sat down in the little snack bar sipping at a diet pop, reading the book I had stashed inside my purse.
When the menfolk were finally through savoring their favorite store on the planet, we headed to a nearby restaurant for dinner. Then it was on to explore the small town of Sidney. We saw a few quaint homes and stores, and my family decided to stop at a local grocery store to pick up snacks and such for the next day when we would bravely cross the "entertaining" Wyoming deseret for our journey home. (Those of you familiar with the area that lies between Rock Springs and Cheyenne know whereof I speak. Sagebrush for miles, emphasis on miles.)
It was at this store that my husband became rather silly. He put his baseball cap on sideways and embarrassed our sons severely, acting as though he was a few fries short of a happy meal, portraying his alter ego---Buford. The funniest part of that adventure was watching the horrified faces of those who had seen the Budford performance as Kennon then climbed in behind the wheel of our car and drove away from the store. ;)
The next morning, we took a family vote. None of us wanted to see the Wyoming desert again . . . for hours, as appealing as that may sound. ;) Kennon looked over a map we had brought with us and decided we would drop down into Colorado for the trip home.
"That way, we'll see country we haven't seen before," he exclaimed, excited over this idea.
I was all in favor of seeing mountains and trees as opposed to say, sage brush, so I agreed, as did our sons.
It was a beautiful drive in comparison to what we endured the day before. I've always loved the mountains and forests and we saw plenty of those as we journeyed home. There was only one drawback, by about 7:30 p.m. we were all tired of riding in the car. And we were still in Colorado. Our shortcut through Colorado was proving to be the long way around. It took some doing, but we (my sons and I) finally convinced Buford that eleven hours of riding in the car was plenty long enough, and we needed to find a place to stay the night.
Buford wasn't a very good sport about this, at first. He wanted to finish the drive home that night, which meant another 5 hours at least, but when he could see that he would be facing a mutinous crew, he finally caved.
The next town we pulled into happened to be Steamboat Springs, a ski resort village I had never heard of before. It was wonderful. We quickly found a place to stay, then grabbed a bite to eat at a local restaurant. Afterward, we walked around the town, seeing the sights. And that is when I fell in love with Steamboat Springs. It reminded me a lot of Jackson, Wyoming, a favorite family hangout. There were walking trails beside a small river, fun parks, and you could see the green colored mountains in the not too distant realm. In short, we had a wonderful time. And after a good night's rest, we were ready to face cutting up through a portion of the famed Wyoming desert to return home.
I learned several things on this trip. I learned that sometimes it pays to be spontaneous, and that numerous treasures await to be explored when you take the path less traveled. It's important to stop and smell the roses along the way. I also learned to vacate the store whenever Budford makes an appearance. ;)